Sonderbooks

Sonderbooks Book Review of

Bunjitsu Bunny's Best Move

by John Himmelman


Home Stand-outs Blog Gallery Info
Bunjitsu Bunny's Best Move

by John Himmelman

Review posted July 14, 2016.
Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2015. 120 pages.

Bunjitsu Bunny’s back! This is a beginning chapter book with lots of chapters, but simple drawings on every page, and only a few sentences. So it’s a quick read, but will give beginning readers a sense of accomplishment. And it has what I like best in beginning readers – stories that all ages will enjoy, nothing watered down for kids.

The first chapter is the same as in the first book. I’ll quote the entire thing, to give you an idea of how simple and short these stories are:

Isabel was the best bunjitsu artist in her school. She could kick higher than anyone. She could hit harder than anyone. She could throw her classmates farther than anyone.

Some were frightened of her. But Isabel never hurt another creature, unless she had to.

“Bunjitsu is not just about kicking, hitting, and throwing,” she said. “It is about finding ways NOT to kick, hit, and throw.”

They called her Bunjitsu Bunny.

I didn’t think the stories in this book were quite as consistently clever as the ones in the first book, but that’s a tiny quibble. More stories about Isabel, Bunjitsu Bunny! Many of them, again, are about avoiding a fight when that’s the best route. Some are about learning a lesson. Some are about enjoying the journey. Some are about persistence.

The Bunjitsu Code is at the back, explicitly stating the ideas expressed in these simple stories:

I promise to:
Practice my art until I am good at it. And then keep practicing.
Never start a fight.
Do all I can to avoid a fight.
Help those who need me.
Study the world.
Learn from those who know more than I do.
Share what I love.
Find what makes me laugh, and laugh loudly. And often.
Make someone smile every day.
Keep my body strong and healthy.
Try things that are hard for me to do.

A nice message and simple stories. Another wonderful volume for beginning readers.